Lean Six Sigma 5S Tool for Decluttering

5s tool

Clutter can be annoying or at its extreme even detrimental to a home or workspace. Clutter happens when you least expect it; for example, you save a magazine so that you can read it later. Then before you know it, you have an entire lifetime of National Geographic magazines stored in your closet! Lean’s 5S tool is a great way to get rid of what you don’t need.

Before we start, take a look inside your closet. You might even want to take a picture so you can see the “before” state of your closet. Then be sure to take an “after” picture of your closet.

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Here’s the 5S tool in action:

  • Seiri (Sort): Separate clothes into piles. Separate by the needed, the extra or duplicates, and unneeded. Do this for shoes as well. To figure out what you really don’t need, you could use the 5 Whys tool. Just keep asking “why” you would need said item and if at the end the reason isn’t strong enough, just give it to charity.
  • Seiton (Straighten): Neatly arrange what you need, from the “needed” pile. Organize the clothes and shoes in a way where what you use more frequently is easy to get to. Make sure you organize your things in a way that everything is visible.
  • Seiso (Shine): Before you actually put the clothes and shoes back in the closet, make sure you clean, vacuum, and dust all the spaces in the closet.
  • Seiketsu (Standardize): If you share your closet space with your significant other or members of your family, then make sure they follow the clean up after yourself rule after they take out an item. If you don’t share the closet space with anyone, then you must always put things away, and if you buy an item you must get rid of an item so that you don’t develop clutter again.
  • Shitsuke (Sustain): Analyze the results. Perhaps take an after picture of your newly organized closet and relish in your success. Use the kaizen approach and keep fixing little things in your closet as they come up. Don’t let them accumulate.

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